The Open University MBA is looking at taking more Indians for its two-and-a-half year programme that starts this May.

The Open University, one of the oldest distance learning universities, started and funded by the U.K. government, is on an expansion mode. The university is looking at taking its flagship programme, The Open University MBA (OUMBA), to countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, South East Asia, South Africa and the Gulf. The programme is currently taken by professionals from 80 countries.

In India, OUMBA is run as a joint venture with publishing and media group Pearson. For the coming academic session especially it is looking at taking more Indian professionals. “We have about 60 alumni from India and we have never aggressively marketed our programme. But this year in particular we are looking at getting more Indian students,” says Richard Kemp, Co-Director MBA Executive Experience, The Open University, who was in Chennai recently. “A batch generally has 1,500 students from across the world. The coming academic year we are looking at taking between 20 and 60 students, quite a jump from our regular intake.”

The Open University Business School already has ties with corporates and is looking at exploring more links with organisations.

Talking about its growing interest in Indians, Mr. Kemp said “the country has a strong business culture and we find great potential to train them in our management programmes.”

So, what makes the Open University different? According to Mr. Kemp, besides taking in experienced hands to mould as business leaders, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging. Every six weeks there are assignments to monitor the candidate’s understanding, besides examinations.

The pedagogy is designed to encourage learners to develop their leadership and innovation through learning from their peers.

“The open university concept is popular in the West. It is convenient and aimed at people on the move, but the question is quality and we offer a world class programme at a price.” That probably explains why we are particular that students with minimum three years of industry experience take up our programme, he said.

Good logical skills with stress on mathematics and finance are pre-requisites for the programme. Its next batch starts from May 1. For more details, log on to www.open.ac.uk. Or write to

r.l.kemp@open.ac.uk/mba-india@open.ac.uk